The Marian antiphon Salve Regina sung here by the Hilliard Ensemble’s counter-tenor David James. This performance, the performance by Henry’s Eight about which I wrote on November 26, 2013, and the performance by the child choristers of Salisbury Cathedral about which I wrote on July 15, 2013 are three performances of it as chant that I return to again and again. There are many settings of it that I love and admire such as the stunningly beautiful setting by Mangon or De Victoria’s or Byrd’s settings but again and again I come back to the Chant in all its hauntingly beauty.
I should I suppose really have titled this post as being attributed to Hermann Contractus (Herman of Reichenau) (1013-1054) the renowned Benedictine scholar, mathematician, writer, and musician but chose not to as I agree with the consensus of opinion that attributes it to him. As to the hymn itself as even a quick glance through the site will tell you it’s been set again and again by each generation of composers over the centuries and is used in the Church in several different ways but most commonly at the conclusion of Compline the last service of the day, during the sequence of hours, and of course various Marian feasts. Enjoy :-).
Hermannus Contractus (1013-1054): Salve Regina
Text & Translation: Salve Regina
|Latin||Modern English Translation||Traditional English Translation|
|Salve regina, mater misericordiae,||Hail, O queen, mother of mercy,||Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,|
|vita, dulcedo et spes nostra salve.||our life, sweetness and hope, hail.||our life, our sweetness and our hope.|
|Ad te clamamus exsules filii Hevae,||To thee do we sigh, daughter of Eve,||To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;|
|ad te suspiramus gementes et flentes||mourning and weeping||to thee do we send up our sighs,|
|in hac lacrimarum valle.||in this vale of tears.||mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.|
|Eia ergo advocata nostra||O you our advocate,||Turn then, most gracious advocate,|
|illos tuos misericordes oculos ad nos converte.||turn on us thy merciful eyes.||thine eyes of mercy toward us;|
|Et Iesum benedictum fructum ventris tui||And after this our exile show unto us Jesus,||And after this our exile, show unto us|
|nobis post hoc exsilium ostende.||the blessed fruit of thy womb.||the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.|
|O clemens, o pia, o dulcis virgo Maria.||O merciful, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.||O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.|
- David James.